I missed Andy Divine’s October 16, 2020 ‘political diagnosis’ about what ails ‘us’: ‘Post-Modernism’ in all its iterations. If only Andy had read Detlev Claussen’s ‘One Last Genius’? Incuriosity is the intellectual armor of the ideologue.
Yet the transgenerational political/economic/civic addiction to Neo-Libearalsm that he championed – his misdirection equals a self-apologetic for his always toxic politics. In which he quotes the disappeared political hysteric Bari Weiss.
A question I’ve wrestled with this past year or so is a pretty basic one: if critical race/gender/queer theory is unfalsifiable postmodern claptrap, as I have long contended, how has it conquered so many institutions so swiftly?
It’s been a staggering achievement, when you come to think of it. Critical theory was once an esoteric academic pursuit. Now it has become the core, underlying philosophy of the majority of American cultural institutions, universities, media, corporations, liberal churches, NGOs, philanthropies, and, of course, mainstream journalism. This summer felt like a psychic break from old-school liberalism, a moment when a big part of the American elite just decided to junk the principles that have long defined American democratic life, and embrace what Bari Weiss calls “a mixture of postmodernism, postcolonialism, identity politics, neo-Marxism, critical race theory, intersectionality, and the therapeutic mentality.”
It’s everywhere. Across the country, schools and colleges are dumping SATs so they can engineer racial equity, and abolish the idea of merit. The Smithsonian backed the idea that working hard, showing up on time and perfecting a task are functions of “whiteness”. In California, there’s a ballot initiative to legalize government discrimination on the basis of race; and a new mandate that company boards add members from under-represented communities. Corporations who haven’t publicly committed themselves to the full woke project are being hounded by their employees into doing so, meaning hiring and firing on the basis of race, or forcing employees into re-education sessions, guided by DiAngelo and Kendi. The NBA, for Pete’s sake, is now a festival of wokeness, even as viewership collapses. CRT propaganda like the NYT’s 1619 Project can be exposed as untrue and unethical, but the paper can both debunk it in its own pages and still hail it as a triumph. And the pièce de resistance: 21 percent of liberal students in the Ivy League favor some level of violence to stop campus speech they disapprove of.
(Patience, only 1,242 words to go)
Andy’s search for political heretics defines his self-appointed role as pundit and political/moral visionary. Andy is the natural ally/inheritor of the legacies of Allen Bloom, Roger Kimball and Dinesh D’Souza. Not forgetting the newest inheritors of Anti-Student mendacious politicking, Jonathan Haight and Greg Lukianoff.
Andy’s continuing quest for someone/something to blame for Trump and Trumpism, and the rise of a re-invigorated ‘Left’ is utterly transparent. This is about his inability to face his own political complicity in the rise of Trump, and its immediate precursor The Tea Party. Post-Modernism and its Marxist component are the perfect target, in a country steeped in the post-war tradition of Nixon/McCarthy/Mundt/McCarren!